Widgets are a powerful and necessary part of a WordPress blog.
If you want the flexibility to customize and personalize your blog, it is crucial to pick a WordPress theme that is widget ready. Most of the newer WordPress themes are widget ready, so it will not be too difficult to find a widget ready theme that suits you.
I also added some new widget areas into the Shiba WordPress theme. There is a multi-column widget area at the top of the blog and three widgets areas at the footer of the blog. You can use the top widget area to add in a bio or latest news section. The bottom widget areas are useful for putting in your recent posts, or for a meta section that allows users to subscribe to your blog RSS feeds.
If you are interested in adding widget areas to your existing WordPress theme, here is a step by step tutorial on how to make your WordPress theme widget ready. This tutorial will teach you how to create single-column and multi-column widget areas.
This post, for example, has a running demo of a multi-column widget.
Feel free to download and test the header widget area in the Shiba WordPress theme.
The header widget area will spread a single column out to fill all the available space if there is only one widget. When there are multiple widgets, it will automatically divide the space up into multiple columns and place the widgets accordingly.
Note that the WordPress widget interface is automatically included in your blog installation since release 2.2. If you have an older version of WordPress, you can enable widgets by installing the WordPress widget plugin.